5 c.s. lewis books every christian should own

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Published on March 12, 2014

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The Underground Your Alternative Christian Voice http://theundergroundsite.com 5 C.S. Lewis books every Christian should own Fifty years ago today (Nov.22), British scholar, apologist and author C.S. Lewis died from kidney failure. Though the coverage of his death was minimal (understandable really, since he died on the same day as Aldous Huxley and JFK), Lewis’ works have affected and influenced untold numbers of people, Christian and otherwise. Since Lewis’ death, his books have sold millions of copies and spawned blockbusters. In 2008, the Times (of London) included Lewis on its list of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945. Lewis is so revered by some that the 50th anniversary of his death also sees Lewis receiving one of the highest honors that a British writer can have – a place in the Poet’s Corner at Westminster Abbey. Some of the biggest names in English literature –Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Dickens—are interred or commemorated at the Poet’s Corner. 1 / 5

The Underground Your Alternative Christian Voice http://theundergroundsite.com Not bad for a man who was convinced that he would be forgotten soon after his death. In honor of C.S. Lewis’ life and legacy, I’ve compiled a list of five C.S. Lewis books that I think every Christian (and thinking person) ought to own (and read). Mere Christianity Though we think of “Mere Christianity” as a book, it’s actually a series of radio lectures that C.S. Lewis gave to British people in the midst of World War II. The apologetic lectures included 2 / 5

The Underground Your Alternative Christian Voice http://theundergroundsite.com a defense of the Christian faith based on arguments of moral law and ethics among other topics. Rev. James Welch, the BBC’s former director of religious broadcasting, invited Lewis to give the talks after reading The Problem of Pain. You can listen to the only surviving radio broadcast here. “Mere Christianity” is a modern apologetics gem because in it Lewis was able to take some of the great moral issues of our day and unpack them in a way that is rational and logical. Big names such as Chuck Colson, Francis Collins and C. E. M. Joad have cited it as the game changer for them with respect to their faith. In 2006, “Christianity Today” selected the book as one of the most influential books amongst post World War II Christian evangelicals. The first time I read the book, since I didn't grow up in the church or anything, I didn’t get a lot of it. I think that might be true of a lot of people. Lewis was more educated than I’ll ever be and some of that spilled over to this book. It’s not meant to be highbrow, but on first read, I thought it was. In particular,I remember some of the wording seeming archaic and complex. The second time I read it, I began to grasp the meat of the book. I began to question my own morays and understand that pride—something I had been taught was a good thing--was actually grievous. Learn more about "Mere Christianity." Out of the Silent Planet “Out of the Silent Planet” is the first book in Lewis’ “Space Trilogy.” It’s a little bit Sci-Fi, a little bit mythology and a dash of fantasy. True to Lewis form, it deals with pressing issues of the day (the trend towards machines over man as well as issues of morality). The book follows the story of Elwin Ransom. In this book Ransom, a philologist and professor is kidnapped and ends up traveling to Mars (also known as Malacandra). While there, Ransom learns that Earth has been known as the silent planet (Thulcandra) ever since it fell to evil angelic forces. The first time I picked up “Out of the Silent Planet,” it was because I picked a book by the wrong author. Thinking back, I had been intending to read Upton Sinclair’s, “The Jungle.” Somehow, I got that mixed up with Sinclair Lewis and ended up reading C.S. Lewis instead. I remember enjoying the book. I ended up reading all of the Space Trilogy. I didn’t really get the social issues Lewis was addressing in the book. I just thought it was fantastic Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I reread this book (along with the others) every couple of years. Learn more about "Out of the Silent Planet." The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” was the first book published in the series of books called the “Chronicles of Narnia.” The most popular book in the series, "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" follows the Pevensie children, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. Having been evacuated from London 3 / 5

The Underground Your Alternative Christian Voice http://theundergroundsite.com during World War II, the children end up staying with a professor in the English country side. While playing in the professor’s house, they stumble upon Narnia when they enter a closet that leads to the magical realm. In Narnia, the children meet Aslan, the ruler of the land. The children help Aslan take Narnia back from the pretender to the throne, the White Witch. I know it's for kids, but "The Chronicles of Narnia" is actually a part of my reread rotation. I read it every couple of years. Each time I do, I see something new and profound. I remember the first time I read a book from the Chronicles of Narnia series. I was in the sixth grade. The book was the “Voyage of the Dawn Treader.” I thought it was the most boring book I’d ever read. Then a little while later (who knows why), I read “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” I loved it. I guess I just needed to read the books in order. Before I read “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” I had no idea what a wardrobe was. Eventually, I figured out that it was a freestanding closet. This among other things (such as Edmund’s flashlight being called a torch) helped me want to understand British culture, and eventually led to the Anglophilia I experienced during my teen years. I didn’t understand that the series was related to Christianity until I entered adulthood. When I realized it,however, I began to enjoy the series in a new way. Narnia is like a parallel universe. When I see Aslan and how he interacts with creatures in Narnia, I can’t help but think about Jesus and how he interacts with us. I also enjoy being able to see Aslan work out the salvation of the Narnia on his timetable as I take part in God’s redemptive timetable. Learn more about "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." The Problem of Pain From abuse and neglect to corruption and natural disasters, if there’s one thing people in the modern world know about, its pain. One of the biggest questions people ask in the aftermath of calamity is, “Where is God in all this?” Lewis attempts to answer this question in “The Problem of Pain.” The book is good because it rational and straightforward. In the book, Lewis says a lot of things that we might not want to hear, but those things cause us to think. Once we start thinking and understanding that a Sovereign, Good God allows bad things to happen because those things are actually part of His goodness, we move out of the realm of being subservient to a veiled deity and into the light where we can begin to see and worship God as He is. The Screwtape Letters In 1995, U2 released “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me.” It was featured on the Batman Forever soundtrack. In the video for the song, Bono’s character is clutching copy of the “Screwtape Letters” as he gets run over by a car. I don’t know why seeing Bono in an animated music video made me want to read the book, but it did. Since then, I’ve read it a couple of times. The “Screwtape Letters” is one of Lewis’ most popular works. First published in 1942, it’s a 4 / 5

The Underground Your Alternative Christian Voice http://theundergroundsite.com series of 31 letters from a senior demon, Screwtape to his nephew, a junior demon named Wormwood. In the letters, Screwtape acts as mentor and advises Wormwood on best how to corrupt the man to whom he has been assigned. I like the “Screwtape Letters” because it is funny. Screwtape’s has a warped view of reality. He thinks bad is good and good is bad. The book hits home and can get a little scary when you consciously realize that Wormwood is just a satirization of the junior demon who messes with your head on a daily basis. My favorite version of the book is John Cleese’s audiobook version. Hearing John Cleese read it adds a whole new dimension to the book. Learn more about "The Screwtape Letters." Powered by TCPDF (www.tcpdf.org) 5 / 5

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